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A Pleasant Ride, With Turtle

It was not, however, a pleasant turtle:

Snapping Turtle on DCRT - 2014-06-04

Snapping Turtle on DCRT – 2014-06-04

That’s a fairly large snapping turtle in the middle of the Dutchess Rail Trail, between Morgan Lake and the Violet Avenue tunnel.

Snappers can move just under the speed of light for about a foot in order to latch onto you, but they’re not quite as fast while turning around: always pass to their rear. You do not attempt to save them from their folly at being in the middle of the road / trail / driveway: they have absolutely no patience with meddlers.

Turtles lay eggs around this time of year, which means they’re on the move, which means they cross roads, which means they get mashed. We’ve seen maybe half a dozen smashed turtles on our usual routes.

Quite some years ago, we found one of its relations in the flower garden beside our house, where it climbed at least 18 inches of vertical concrete block to see what was inside. It was about two feet long, jaws to tail, and obviously a survivor:

Snapping Turtle on wall

Snapping Turtle on wall

Those missing plates probably didn’t help its attitude in the least.

It eventually klonked down to the driveway without our assistance:

Snapping Turtle on driveway

Snapping Turtle on driveway

After a pause for gimbal unlocking and compass recalibration, it ambled off toward the Mighty Wappingers Creek. The wall gets much shorter to the right, which is likely where it climbed up.

We wished it good hunting …

Neither turtle was radio-active.

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